Best Albums of 2017
as selected by Gleb Vorontsov

Синекдоха Монток <BR> “MMXVII – Chapters I and II”

Синекдоха Монток
“MMXVII – Chapters I and II”

In the outlandish phrase “Syndokdoha Muntok”, the work of the group Savva Rozanova, known to be connoisseurs of Russian-language soul-indie music. In 2017, Synecdoche Monty returned with a series of chapters release under the general name “MMXVII”.

“Chapter I” came out in July, “Chapter II” in September. In anticipation of the next part, Synecdoche Monty presents a live version of “MMXVII” and enters the territory of a new experiment. The album is a metaphysical family saga, an appeal to ancestors and future relatives, embodying the emotional moment in a musical form.

The game is at the intersection of the new R’n’B, traditional folk and baroque pop music, where each composition creates a capacious image, a concentrate of emotion embedded inside, and finds its own personal techniques and solutions for expression.

♪♫ Listen: “Алая Песня” + album stream

Синекдоха Монток on Facebook.

Буерак <BR> “Скромные апартаменты”

“Скромные апартаменты”

The second album of the Siberian post-punk band, which right now is able to score big clubs. As the band members report, the album is serious and sad. “Our lyrical hero goes off the rails,” says Buerak vocalist Artem Cherepanov.

Style of Buerak has not changed — it’s still a laconic and accurate post-punk, similar to the Soviet collectives of the 80’s and to later samples of the genre. As well they are heavily influenced by Rostov band Motorama.

On “Скромные апартаменты”, the measured parties of the drum machine and sonorous guitars accompany ironic songs about the life of the introvert in the big city.

♪♫ Listen: “Свидание В Трамвае” + album stream

Буерак on Facebook.

Свидание <BR> “No. 2”

“No. 2”

Svidanie, one of the main breakthroughs of 2016 in Russian independent scene, released the album “No. 2″, this is obviously the second album of musicians.

Moscow’s romantics change their sound a bit — unlike previous works, there is minimum of electronics in this release. Live drums, violin, cello were used instead.”

And as for the lyrical hero, he continues to love his only one”, assures Andrei Zeberti, frontman of Svidanie. The songs are very touching new intimacy about love and sadness, sea and fashion.

♪♫ Listen: “Любовь” + album stream

Свидание on Facebook, Instagram.

Антоха МС <BR> “Советы для молодоженов”

Антоха МС
“Советы для молодоженов”

Antoha MC is the most enlightening and upbeat person in the new wave of Russian music. Like the previous album, this tells us how to become better with the help of the punchlines from posters of Soviet-era: do sports, live with a smile, make good deads on the whole earth. What the author himself says:

“The title of the album is ‘Tips for the newlyweds’ — we wanted to display one of the most important social themes — ‘Family’. The content of the album is about to please listeners with good tone, accurate rhythm; native, familiar and new answers and questions.”

“In the records, we used the old schemes for the formation of our compositions, new programs and devices, the normative pace. The album was organized with the help of the organizational department for events, the approval of listeners, the family hearth, housing and communal services city of Moscow and Russian cities.”

♪♫ Listen: “Спорт-Брат” + album stream

Антоха МС on Facebook, Instagram.

Young and Dramatic feat. Parks, Squares and Alleys “Passenger”

Young and Dramatic feat. Parks, Squares and Alleys “Passenger”

The unusual creative tandem of the Belarusian dream pop band Young and Dramatic and the band with the far eastern roots Parks, Squares and Alleys released the melancholic track “Passenger” in June. The event is truly historic, as this release became the debut in the history of the new label Rodnoy Zvuk.

Music is truly for romantics, accustomed to overcoming traffic jams in public transport, a sleeve wiping the misted glass and looking curiously at random passers-by. “We recorded this track with Lesha Chumak when Young And Dramatic came to Moscow with a gig. They stopped at our house, and for five hours, while the other dudes were asleep, Lesha and I recorded the track.

The longest time we thought about writing a song. They decided that it was cool to write a track from the face of a dude who was riding a bus and looking at the townsfolk.” — said Sergei Khavro from Parks, Squares and Alleys.

♪♫ Listen: “Passenger

Young and Dramatic on Facebook, Instagram. Parks, Squares and Alleys on Facebook, Instagram.

Хаски “Любимые песни (воображаемых) людей”

Хаски “Любимые песни (воображаемых) людей”

2016-2017 became years of hip-hop, so it’s quite impossible to skip the most important Russian release of this period.

At the end of 2016 and early 2017, Husky received so many advances, that his new album could easily be buried under the weight of these expectations. But he left — and nothing of the kind: it became even more interesting. On the spot and flow of the possessed demon, and the amazingly accurate metaphors and paranoid bits with which it is in complete harmony.

But the diversity of landscape material is striking. Pay attention to the song “Pyroman 17” with the refrain “Decapitate, piss and burn”, the nervous “Beat shakes his head” and get to the last two tracks, where Husky tries to sing – and something completely psychedelic turns out.

♪♫ Listen: “Панелька” + album stream

Хаски on Facebook, Instagram.

Sonic Death <BR> “Home Punk”

Sonic Death
“Home Punk”

The kings of Russian garage rock are massively productive this year. I, frankly speaking, lost count of how many albums they released this year, it seems that not less than 4 full-length and some Eps.

The garage punk about love and social disorder gradually transformed into a garage hard rock with a vintage sound referring to the proto-metal and occult rock of the early 70’s, and texts where the demon’s invocation adjoins the call to beat the street lanterns.

Because “when it’s dark it burns inside”.

♪♫ Listen: “Sabotage” + album stream

Sonic Death on Facebook, Instagram.

Pompeya <BR> “Domino”


A fresh release of flagship band of the Russian indie scene. The quick summary of them: brand of rock and disco is in vogue right now (see The Killers, Phoenix and more) and they are only getting better with each release.

Their latest sees them work with one of the funk masters himself, Fred Falke, to produce a masterful combination of funk, rock and indie titled “Domino.”

“Domino” has all the ingredients to be your next big summer track – a great, catchy vocal, steady groove, searing guitar and flawless production from Fred Falke.

♪♫ Listen: “Domino” + album stream

Pompeya on Facebook, Instagram.

Пасош “Каждый раз самый важный раз”

Пасош “Каждый раз самый важный раз”

Starting two years ago with a garage punk, Petar Martich’s band came to the moody American indie of the early 90’s in the spirit of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., and even the Galaxy 500 (the title track is a piano instrumental at all).

The third album of the Moscow punk band is still about eternal youth is not over yet. “Every single day is the most important time” —their songs are still urban hymns of teenagers and those who are slightly older.

Friendship, love, alcohol, parties and gigs — this is the general narrative of the album.

♪♫ Listen: “Сегодня” + album stream

Пасош on Facebook, Instagram.

Kedr Livanskiy <BR> “Ariadna”

Kedr Livanskiy

Kedr Livanskiy moved from the computer to vintage synthesizers, and her sparse after-night techno became even more delicate and openwork, like music woven from a single cigarette in the light of a table lamp. Yana Kedrina’s music on this disc is a pre-dawn disco for one, a gently pulsating soundtrack to how the nocturnal haze slowly and inevitably gives way to dawn pink.

“Stop ‘Dawn’, there is only way out — there is no way out,” Yana sings with a detached, “off” voice, recorded as if too in the night, not to wake anyone, but the music around her is ready to argue with this pessimism; of course, there is a way out, there it is, in these gently synching stereo tapes, in the slowly drifting cloud of analogue noises swallowing everything alive on the Mermaid, in the fact that it’s spring outside, I’m walking alone.

“Ariadne” is all like a dream, a bit weird, a bit disturbing, leaving in my head a little anxiety and much admiration for how sophisticated ways your own thought in your dream is twisting; but when you have already arrived at the stop “Dawn”, everything dissipates, and in the daytime life you leave a cheerful springy tread.

♪♫ Listen: “Ariadna” + album stream

Kedr Livanski on Facebook, Instagram.